The event caps the Y’s observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Local families are invited to the West Essex YMCA in Livingston on April 29 for Healthy Kids Day, a free event meant to inspire kids and parents to stay active physically and mentally during the summer.

A disc jockey will keep the beat going between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., as guests enjoy an inflatable obstacle course, kids yoga, face painting and healthy snacks. Families can also check out a fire truck and watch first aid and CPR demonstrations.

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“Our hope is that Healthy Kids Day inspires children and their parents to stay active both physically and mentally throughout the summer, embracing their potential to create their best summer ever,” West Essex YMCA Executive Director Helen Flores said.

On Healthy Kids Day and during the week leading up to it (April 24-29), the West Essex Y is running a pajama drive to benefit Wynona’s House Children’s Advocacy Center in Newark in honor of  National Child Abuse Prevention Month. New pajamas for children from infants to teenagers can be dropped off at the YMCA, 321 S. Livingston Ave., or the Peanut Shell Child Care Center, 7 Regent Street, #706, both in Livingston.

West Essex YMCA is a branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey. Metro Y President and CEO Richard K. Gorab belongs to YMCA Guardians Against Child Sexual Abuse, a group of Y leaders who are spearheading the awareness movement.

During the Five Days of Action, April 24-28, the Metro YMCA is urging members and the communities it serves to learn the facts, share tools and resources, and sign the Pledge to Protect Children in branch lobbies. The campaign includes a major social media component using the hashtag #5DaysofAction. For more information, visit http://www.metroymcas.org/preventnow

According to the Y, not enough people realize the magnitude of child sexual abuse—it’s estimated one-in-10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday—and what responsible adults can do to prevent it. Children are the victims in 70 percent of reported sexual assaults, and in 90 percent of those cases, the child knows and trusts the abuser.

Healthy Kids Day will be held at the YMCA, rain or shine. For more information, visit westessexymca.org or call 973-992-7500.